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AKC Companion Animal Recovery Awards $340,000 in Grants to K-9 Search and Rescue Teams Nationwide - Update: View Photos from Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue Local Grant Presentation!

(Tuesday, June 28, 2011)

-- More Than 100 Grants in 36 States
to Assist Volunteers --

The AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) Canine Support and Relief Fund recently awarded more than $340,000 in grants, the majority to K-9 Search and Rescue (SAR) teams. Since 2002, AKC CAR has proudly supported the crucial role these volunteers play during natural disasters and other emergencies when the unique talents of a highly trained canine and his handler can often mean the difference between life and death for a missing individual.

“AKC CAR is very proud to be leading the cause of providing much needed funding for K-9 SAR teams that perform such important, and often lifesaving, work,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Companion Animal Recovery CEO. “As volunteers many of these organizations rely on grants and other similar funding, so we’re pleased that the Fund can make such a significant contribution to so many groups.”

With more than 100 SAR groups in 36 states, AKC-affiliated kennel clubs across America are holding local presentation ceremonies in their communities where grant recipients are located. One Georgia group recently sent AKC CAR its thanks:

“We want to thank AKC CAR for its consideration and generosity in awarding us this grant. It will greatly assist us in our mission to help those in need and to bring the lost home,” said Tracy Sargent, President of K9 Search & Rescue Specialists, Inc. “We joined in the search efforts during the recent tornado disaster in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and it is because of support from AKC CAR and others that we are able to assist families and officials in their time of need.”

Examples of K-9 SAR teams grants include funding for:

  • Training seminars for Wilderness and Urban Tracking, Air Scent and Human Remains Detection
  • Alzheimer’s Search training seminars
  • GPS Units, collars & laptop to track man-trailing canines during searches
  • Cooling vests, safety vests & repelling harnesses
  • Disaster agility equipment & supplies for training
  • Boat supplies for underwater detection training for drowning victims
  • Radios, kennels, crates, leashes & toys

For a full list of 2011 AKC CAR SAR Grant recipients, visit www.akccar.org/givingback

The American Kennel Club and AKC Companion Animal Recovery also donated more than $16,000 in supplies and funds via the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund to animal organizations in need after the recent devastating tornadoes in the South. Members of the Tuscaloosa Kennel Club delivered supplies to the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter on behalf of AKC and AKC CAR, including crates, bowls, leashes and collars and dog food. The Fund also provided food, medication, crates, kennel runs, flea/tick prevention and more to the Alabama SPCA, Humane Society of West Alabama, Walker County Humane Society, Cullman County Animal Shelter, Marion/Winston Animal Shelter, Hale County Animal Shelter and Catoosa Citizens for Animal Care (GA).

Created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to honor the work of the search and rescue K-9s who bravely served, the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund is a permanent charitable fund that has donated more than $3 million to SAR teams and to organizations supporting companion animal relief during natural disasters such as the recent tornadoes in Alabama. For more information, visit www.akccar.org.

The Atlanta Kennel Club recently presented Alpha Team K-9 Search and Rescue with an AKC CAR grant at the State Capitol Building in Atlanta with the assistance of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of Georgia Gary Black. Also in attendance were State Veterinarian, Dr. Carter Black, Senator John Bullock, Chairmen of the Senate Agricultural committee, Representative Tom McCall, Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee, Dr. Carmen Battaglia, AKC and AKC CAR Board Director, Mary Ellen Macke, President the Atlanta Kennel Club and Gail La Berge, President Georgia Canine Coalition.
The First Company Governor’s Foot Guard Honor Guard leads the parade at Cabela’s on June 25, 2011 to honor Connecticut Canine Search And Rescue (CCSAR) as part of the presentation of the AKC Companion Animal Recovery $2,000 SAR grant to the volunteer non-profit organization
Members of the Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue (CCSAR) march along on their way to the grant presentation followed by their response vehicle
Many purebred dogs were part of the parade festivities as well as a Meet the Breeds hosted by the South Windsor Kennel Club! Among the breeds represented were the Akita, Beagle, Boston Terrier, Chinese Shar-Pei, Collie, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Irish Setter, Karelian Bear Dog, Labrador Retriever, Norwegian Buhund, Norwegian Elkhound, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Vizsla, West Highland White Terrier, and the Wire Fox Terrier
CCSAR has more than 40 dogs in their ranks. Several handlers and dogs were on-hand for the grant presentation including an Airedale Terrier, Border Collie, English Springer Spaniels, German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Portuguese Water Dogs
Proud K-9 member of the Connecticut Canine Search and Rescue organization Bella, the Airedale Terrier, and along with her handler Pete Vernesoni
K-9 Handler Marian Beland with her SAR Portuguese Water Dogs
K-9 Handler Liz Burne with her SAR English Springer Spaniels
AKC CAR Spokesperson Lisa Peterson presenting the $2,000 AKC Companion Animal Recovery SAR grant to CCSAR.
K-9 Rommel and his handler Scott Ruskay stand at attention next to DOGNY Galaxy among the photographic tribute to the 9/11 SAR dogs.
Handler Liz Burne with her Springer Spaniels SAR dogs, including Lionel (right) who is proudly wearing his 2009 AKC ACE Award Honorable Mention Medallion from the Search and Rescue category, alongside the 9/11 tribute with DOGNY Galaxy standing proudly in the background.
Peggy Wampold, president of the South Windsor Kennel Club and Ed Lyons, president of the Connecticut Dog Federation at an educational booth at Cabela’s Sporting Dog Days during the AKC CAR grant presentation to CCSAR.